Gingivitis or gum disease describes both the early stages of gum inflammation as well as more severe gum involvement such as periodontitis and acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). Early management of gingivitis is more successful at reducing the risk of complications compared with treatment initiated in later stages of disease.
Outline of gingivitis treatment
Maintenance of good oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the main treatment approach tmanaging tooth and gum diseases. This involves:
- Brushing the teeth with a manual or electric toothbrush at least twice a day for at least 2 to 3 minutes at a time.
- Using toothpaste containing recommended fluoride levels. After brushing, the mouth should not be rinsed tallow the fluoride tbe retained in the mouth.
- Flossing the teeth at least once daily
- Stopping smoking and tobaccchewing
- Using antiseptic mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine may help prevent the build up of plaque. These mouthwashes are not suitable for pregnant and nursing mothers and may alsstain the teeth yellow. After using the mouthwash, the mouth should not be rinsed tallow the antiseptic components tbe retained in the mouth.
- Regularly attending dental checkups can be helpful in detecting and treating early gum disease. Most adults with healthy gums require at least one visit every twyears while those under 18 years require an annual check up.
- Antibiotics are useful when there is severe gum involvement due tconditions such as ANUG, trench mouth or periodontitis. Some of the most effective antibiotics for these conditions include metronidazole and amoxicillin.
- Gingivitis may cause toothache and painful gums. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may help ease the pain, swelling and discomfort.
- Dental treatments include scale and polish and root planning. The dentist or dental hygienist may perform a scale and polish thelp remove the plaque and tartar that gives rise tgingivitis. Root planning involves a deeper clean tremove bacteria from underneath the gums and around the roots of the teeth. Root planning is usually only needed in cases of severe gingivitis, periodontitis or ANUG.
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Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Dr. Ananya Mandal
Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.
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